by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Democratic party faces a dilemma. Since its inception, the party has defined itself as the champion of the little guy and a bulwark against plutocracy. Over the past few years, however, a funny thing has happened: The plutocrats have been joining the party en masse, and they’re changing it in the process. …
… The left-liberalism of the Silicon Valley elite is reflected in support for drastically higher taxes on the rich, much higher levels of anti-poverty spending, and every environmentalist cause under the sun, views that are very much in tune with rank-and-file Democratic voters. Their cosmopolitanism is reflected in adamant support for free trade and for increasing immigration levels, which puts them somewhat out of step with less affluent Democrats, who are both more protectionist and more restrictionist. And their business-friendliness, which garnered the most attention in the immediate reactions to the survey, is reflected in their general skepticism towards regulation and organized labor.
As an electoral constituency, elite technology entrepreneurs are trivial. But as the women and (mostly) men who increasingly bankroll the Democratic party, they are profoundly important. They will help set limits on what Democratic politicians can and cannot say, and they are already influencing the agenda that Democrats are choosing to pursue.